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If you can’t do it for you, do it for the athlete inside you.

We all try our best to take super care of our horses. We manage their feed, their show schedules, they get massages, new shoes, visits with the chiropractor and vet. In short, they get the best of the best.

We humans on the other hand often miss out on all of these luxuries, and often even the most basic healer known as sleep.

Why is it that we as a society can’t seem to make our selves a priority without feeling some guilt? This is something we need to work on. But if you can’t do these important self-preserving things for you, do it for the athlete within you.

I just heard someone say to me to ‘preserve the performance’ in relation to how to deal with circumstances around competition day. You owe it to yourself to give your ride all of your focus, and you need to protect the things it takes to make it so. It got me thinking about it in a broader sense; we need to take care of all our athletes including the athlete inside of ourselves.

I know my inner athlete needs a lot of sleep: at least 8 hours (9 would be even better). I know that when I’m stressed or worried I need to take some melatonin or rescue remedy to help me sleep that much also. This sometimes means not going out to dinner during the show with friends because I won’t make it to the end of the week with the ability to focus on Sunday in my big class.

My inner athlete also needs lots of water, meditation time, and a regular visit to the physio/chiro or massage therapist to keep things working right. I need to be protective of my shoulder and back from chronic situations, and for that I need to go to the gym even when I don’t feel like it to keep them strong. These are all things I would never hesitate to do for my horse at a minimum, and I need to stay on top of it for myself so that our team of two athletes are in top form when we arrive to the show.

So if you can’t make the dedication to yourself then do it for the athlete that is half of your team out there.

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